Sci/tech

Hybrid Vehicles That Are Even More Efficient
June 12, 2009 09:37 AM - ScienceDaily

A new study proposes the installation of a supercapacitor battery and the creation of software for hybrid vehicles to help recover lost energy and reinject it back into the system.

U.S. EPA announces Palos Verdes Shelf proposed environmental protection plan
June 12, 2009 06:04 AM - Editor, ENN

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host public meetings and accept public comments on its proposed Preferred Alternative plan that addresses the risks to human health and the environment at the Palos Verdes Shelf, located near Los Angeles, Calif. The Palos Verdes Shelf site is a large area of DDT- and PCB-contaminated sediment located in the ocean off the coast of the Palos Verdes peninsula south of Los Angeles. The offshore site stretches from Point Fermin in the southeast to Redondo Canyon in the northwest, a distance of about 9 miles. The EPA’s Preferred Alternative plan is an interim remedy that proposes institutional controls, monitored natural recovery and a containment cap. Construction is expected to take 3 years and cost an estimated $36,000,000.

Green but costly, hybrid buses far from mass production

Fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly, hybrid buses starred at a public transportation congress in Vienna this week, but they still face a long road before becoming cost-effective on a mass scale.

Caribbean reefs 'flattened' in just 40 years
June 10, 2009 07:26 AM - Andy Coghlan, New Scientist

In just 40 years, the Caribbean's spectacular branched corals have been flattened. Research reveals that the corals have been replaced by shorter rival species – and points to climate change as at least partly to blame. Most of the reefs have lost all the intricate, tree-like corals that until the 1970s provided sanctuary for unique reef fish and other creatures, as well as protecting coastlines by sapping the energy of waves.

Book Review: GREEN, Your Place in the New Energy Revolution
June 9, 2009 01:50 PM - M Molendyke, ENN

In the last decade or so, Americans have been bombarded by a environmentalist media that is relentless when it comes to highlighting the causes, dangers, and perpetrators of carbon- fueled global climate change. This surge of sensationalism, combined with the perceived lack of ways to “make it better” (outside of the light bulb changing, recycling, hybrid car- buying stories we have heard a thousand times), has lead to a public paralyzed by the thought of an approaching man- made apocalypse. Responding to this stagnation are Jane and Michael Hoffman, a New York City couple who have molded their lives around energy innovation. Their recently published book Green: Your Place in the New Energy Revolution is peppered with lighthearted anecdotes about their own experiences with the green revolution, including a reoccurring allusion to what the couple calls their “Aha!” moment, recognizing the urgency of the climate problem.

Flexible Solar Power Shingles Transform Roofs From Wasted Space To Energy Source
June 8, 2009 10:39 AM - ScienceDaily

A transparent thin film barrier used to protect flat panel TVs from moisture could become the basis for flexible solar panels that would be installed on roofs like shingles.

Invest in trees and soil, not just cleaner coal-UN
June 8, 2009 07:00 AM - Reuters

Chopping down fewer trees and caring for the soil may be cheaper and more effective in fighting climate change than curbing emissions from coal plants, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Friday.

Maldives' disappearing coast prompts appeal to UN space agency

The Maldives, one of the nations most threatened by global warming, is appealing to the United Nations space agency to help the island country plan its defenses against rising sea levels. "Beach erosion is the No. 1 problem for our country right now," Environment Minister Abdulla Shahid said over the weekend in an interview in Vienna. The Indian Ocean nation of 385,000 people has had to relocate the populations of two of its 200 islands because of eroding beaches, he said.

Coral reefs more resilient than expected-against seaweed
June 6, 2009 10:32 AM - Eurekalert

There's little doubt that coral reefs the world over face threats on many fronts: pollution, diseases, destructive fishing practices and warming oceans. But reefs appear to be more resistant to one potential menace – seaweed – than previously thought, according to new research by a team of marine scientists from the United States and Australia. Their study is the first global-scale analysis of thousands of surveys of individual reefs – in all, more than 3,500 examinations of about 1,800 reefs performed between 1996 and 2006. The study appears the June issue of the journal Ecology, which is published by the Ecological Society of America.

Solar-thermal power stations announced

BrightSource Energy, based in California, has signed the world's two largest deals to build new solar-power capacity. The company will soon begin constructing the first in a series of 14 solar-power plants that will collectively supply more than 2.6 gigawatts (GW) of electricity—enough to serve about 1.8m homes.

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